Texas Ranch House -- Adventurers Take Stock
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Life After the Ranch
Bill Cooke Lisa Cooke Vienna Cooke Lacey Cooke Hannah Cooke Maura Finkelstein Rob Wright Shaun Terhune Anders Heintz Johnny Ferguson Jared Ficklin Robby Cabezuela
Q&A with Jared Ficklin
Jared Ficklin
Q: What have you been doing since you left the ranch?

A: I came back off the ranch and I was in demand. They wanted me right back at work, and that's pretty much where right where I went. It's really easy to fall right back into old patterns. But I did take a couple of weeks and I have been getting out and riding as much as I can.

Q: Did you feel you lived the 1867 life?

A: I really thought I had the full experience. It was really great. There were times when you could just completely lose yourself out there. I came back with just so much more perspective on what it was like back then: similarities and differences alike. I think modern technology is giving us a lot more efficiency. One person's hard work can touch a lot more people than [in] 1867. One person's hard work was really a lot more individual then and was more a benefit for one's immediate family and friends.

Q: What new skills did you learn?

A: I picked up a lot of new skills on the ranch. I knew way less than I thought I knew. I learned so much about horsemanship and the care of livestock. I learned a lot about hunting, finding, and tracking.

Q: Were there any surprises on the ranch?

A: I live here in a 1,900-square-foot house, roommate-free, for years. I go out there and have to get into this bunkhouse with eight guys. It was one of my biggest fears and one of the biggest surprises. Now that I'm back, I miss the camaraderie. I miss the guys. I miss having people around, even if it was that they were keeping you awake when you wanted to sleep at night. I really went through a mourning period.

Q: What about divisions on the ranch?

A: To me it's water under the bridge. It was very real at the time. When you come back to real life, that is when you realize it was not just circumstances of living in the period. There were a couple of bad weeks and there is so much good. Absolutely that is what I focus on. If I were to meet up with any of them again, that is what we could talk about.

Q: How was it coming back to the 21st century?

A: I was surprised when I left how easy it was to lose technology, and I was equally surprised when I came back how easy it was to just drop right back into it. I went back to work, dropped the laptop on my desk, and had an e-mail fired up in 10 seconds. Within hours, I visited my regular round of sites and I was back coding just right away. The human ability to adapt is just so great.

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